After stepping away from the horror genre to direct Furious 7, James Wan is back in full, frightening force this year, directing The Conjuring 2 (for which a blood-curdling trailer just dropped) and producing the very creepy-looking Lights Out. The first full trailer for the latter, which Warner Bros. is heavily backing with a prime summer release slot, just arrived, and it’s immediately clear why the studio is so gung-ho about the frightener – this thing looks absolutely terrifying.
David F. Sandberg is making his feature debut on the pic, an adaptation of his spine-tingling 2013 short (which you can watch and consequently lose sleep over here). He’s working with a great cast, too, including Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke and Maria Bello, and a beefed-up premise. Whereas the short just went for the jugular (and the light-switch), this spin on the concept (a demon can only gain physical form in the dark) focuses on a group of siblings haunted by the vicious entity, which has a mysterious connection to their mother.
Here’s the synopsis:
When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.
The horror genre has always been relatively receptive to short filmmakers spinning their concepts out into full-length features, from Wan’s own Saw to Mama to my beloved Frankenweenie, so it should be exciting to see what Sandberg does with an expanded budget and runtime. His short certainly scared the bejeesus out of audiences – the guy knows how to stage and light scenes in the dark, and that kind of talent is pretty rare.
Lights Out will scare you into keeping yours on (and preferably duct-taped) on July 22.